Strategic Commodities 2.0: Global Lithium Supply

lithium supply - Salt-encrusted lake beds, called salars, are scattered across the high, dry, and windy Puna de Atacama. Formed from the concentrated remnants of vast ancient lakes, the salars hold many soluble minerals, like potassium salts, lithium salts, and table salt. The Salar de Olaroz lithium mine is a new facility that will be capable of producing 17,500 metric tonnes of lithium carbonate per year by the end of 2015., cc Planet Labs, modified, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Salar_de_Olaroz_Lithium_Mine,_Argentina_by_Planet_Labs.jpg

New energy paradigms demand new strategic commodities. This article examines factors impacting lithium supply over the next decade.

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China’s Foreign Policy Adrift upon Rivers of Sand

China's Three Gorges Dam, cc Dan Kamminga from Haarlem, Netherlands, modified, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Three_Gorges_Dam.jpg

To understand China’s foreign policy toward India and bordering ASEAN countries, one must understand its national water crisis.

Japan-Australia Defense Treaty: US Allies Adapting to New Geopolitics of the Indo-Pacific

PHILIPPINE SEA (July 21, 2020) The Royal Australian Navy destroyer HMAS Hobart (DDG 39), left, the frigate HMAS Arunta (FFH 151), the landing helicopter dock ship HMAS Canberra (L02), the fleet replenishment vessel HMAS Sirius (O 266), the U.S. Navy forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), the guided-missile cruiser USS Antietam (CG 54), the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force destroyer JS Teruzuki (DD 116) and HMAS Stuart (FFH 153) steam into formation during a trilateral exercise. Trilateral exercises between the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, Australian Defense Force and U.S. Navy support shared goals of peace and stability while enhancing regional security and the right of all nations to trade, communicate, and choose their destiny in a free and open Indo-Pacific region. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Codie L. Soule/Released) 200721-N-KP021-0168, modified, Flickr Official U.S. Navy Page, https://www.flickr.com/photos/usnavy/50137245777/in/photolist-2josuq2-2jmvEp6-2jm8sE8-2jkSuhr-2jaqm7M-2j25Qqn-2j24fgm-2iYUQwx-2iVXG34-2iVXE6Z-2iVXAt3-2iS4kYp-2iMyPVN-2iFXQD1-2iDBb1T-2ixP8es-2ixSVrF-2ixEfDF-2iwE8DU-2jtDpj2-2jnF9eR-2jnE1qR-2jnE1qa-2jnB6AZ-2jnB6Ao-2jkSubQ-2jkSu9a-2iW8ieK-2iVVqUT-2iJ8u8Z-2iJa75x-2iJ5Lez-2iJa73o-2iJ5Lds-2iJ8u4A-2iJ5LbJ-2iJ5Lb8-2iJ8u3y-2iJ8u2X-2iAvB73-2iAvB7d-2iAuhmD-2ixJ2K5-2ixEfFz-2ixJ2q2-2iwbSsB-2iweqCh-2ivwZGc-2ivAATY-2ivwRnX

The new defense pact is a concrete demonstration that Washington’s closest security partners are proactively increasing their contributions to the Indo-Pacific region.

Decoding Duterte’s Shifting Stance on the South China Sea Dispute


Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, often labeled ‘soft’ on Beijing, has recently adopted tougher rhetoric on the South China Sea. Yet though more critical of China, the tone has remained noticeably diplomatic.

White House Transition to Continue Trajectory of US-Vietnam Relations

Vice President Biden shakes hands with General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong at a luncheon at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C. on July 7, 2015. [State Department Photo/Public Domain], cc Flickr US Department of State, modified, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Vice_President_Biden_Shakes_Hands_With_General_Secretary_Nguyen_Phu_Trong_at_a_Luncheon_at_the_State_Department_(18883780193).jpg

A President Biden would be unlikely to hit the ‘reset’ button in US-China relations, which suggests progress in Washington’s partnership with Hanoi.

‘QUAD of the West’ Forms against Turkey in the Eastern Mediterranean

MEDITERRANEAN SEA (Aug. 26, 2020) The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Winston S. Churchill (DDG 81), not pictured, executes a passing exercise with Turkish Navy frigates TCG Barbaros (F-244) and Burgazada (F-513) in the Mediterranean Sea, Aug. 26, 2020. Winston S. Churchill is deployed to the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations in support of regional allies and partners and U.S. national security interests in Europe and Africa., modified, cc Flickr Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet, https://www.flickr.com/photos/cne-cna-c6f/50271831981/in/photolist-2jAmhcP-2haMApM-2haNErD-2gaP4QR-2hD6juY-RH5CUJ-2bF67ti-VxBNes-2hGRkqA-HCFGuD-2hqdMu5-2gEg8cf-2gUiawX-2hDgcCX-SZ1JT1-2gaN4qq-2hqfRnp-2gVhEXN-2hGDfKh-2haMAkF-2hFdvj2-2hGn39m-znkBA5-2gUirnE-2hDctte-2haQaMz-2hFnDn3-H43vF2-2gaNDEb-2gaN4jh-2gWgQxW-2hrHEYA-2hqchm2-2g5ya9R-2hHNyyf-2hFoA2d-2haRtoR-2haRirw-2hmSiv2-2gaNhSi-BdTSWE-2hGy2zf-2gaNooQ-2h5oRbS-2hFnuSh-2ghxo1s-2g5DKwy-2hrMBEh-24qHQwD-2cRhAAQ

Turkish actions in the Eastern Mediterranean have mirrored China’s actions in the South China Sea. And they’ve begun to produce the same kind of geopolitical response.

The Coming Cyber-Industrial Complex: A Warning for the New US Administration

General Eisenhower visits a V2 launch site in Europe, 1944, modified, public domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=Special:Search&redirs=0&search=eisenhower&fulltext=Search&ns0=1&ns6=1&ns14=1&title=Special:Search&advanced=1&fulltext=Advanced%20search#/media/File:Eisenhower_visiting_the_V2_launch_site_at_Sottevast_1944.jpg

The framers of US cyber policy can learn a lot from President Eisenhower’s prescient farewell address.

Muslim Backlash Takes Toll on France-Pakistan Relations

cc Flickr Jacques Paquier, modified, https://www.flickr.com/photos/125671268@N02/47547796291/in/photolist-2frCTie-2frCTj6-2frCTf8-U7J2Mh-ZYKVE8-2b8NRTQ-2j3ZpUR-2hL8XeD-2imYQ4M-2hLa1KW-RYyra7-cTQkDJ-4WU7wn-bFtPj6-2iZGkuq-2ivDGqZ-2ijvJ1Q-9JASNu-2dtsRiX-2hLzHVo-2ijvJ5H-2dtsRjD-RkDipC-2jpueSe-2itijEA-2itfMqH-2i4Fd6Q-2ipVZbN-2ijs9YQ-2jk2pQU-2hkn12H-2ipVZ9D-2gYtSKj-22dtZq8-2dtsRhV-RkDioW-2hLzF7N-2ivDGrF-2ivCw4C-m3RTL-m3RTH-2i6pcUr-2ijvJ9f-2ijvJcM-2j914oq-2ijuztq-2iakGaU-2itijFx-2idSrKN-2ijvJ45

It’s not only France-Turkey relations that are reeling from President Macron’s Islam spat.

Brazil Charts an Economic Course out of the COVID-19 Pandemic

cc Rawlan1998, wikicommons, modified, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:100_Brazil_real_Second_Obverse.jpg

Assessing the strength of Brazil’s economy as it attempts to recover from COVID-19.

West African Governments Can Learn from the US Police Reform Movement

cc Flickr yashmori, modified, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

There is an element of universality in reforming security forces, and it hinges on accountability.

Next through the Revolving Door of Peru’s Presidency

cc Flickr Ennoti, modified, https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/mark/1.0/

Peru’s long-standing political dysfunction was on display in the swearing in of President Francisco Sagasti. Will next year's general election change anything?

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